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Body of Phillip Palma found in shallow grave on island

GeneralBody of Phillip Palma found in shallow grave on island

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Sept. 20, 2022

The body of Phillip Palma, 55, a Belizean caretaker of Mile 5 on the George Price Highway, who was reported missing last Wednesday, was found at about midday on Saturday, September 17, in a shallow grave on an island about one mile south of Old Belize—just 300 yards from his home. The unearthing of the body of Palma, who was reportedly last seen in an alley on Cemetery Road on Wednesday afternoon, was carried out by Palma’s family members, with the assistance of a private investigator, Jose Espat, following an unsuccessful effort by police to locate the body on John Smith Road on the previous day.

The grave in which he was found was about three feet deep, and was located about 50 feet away from the seaside. It is believed that he was placed there by the persons who murdered him, and, according to the victim’s brother, Ricardo Palma, the events leading to his death likely started with a wet drop that his deceased brother allegedly came across.

“To be truthful, what caused the whole incident is a wet drop. My brother, he’s the one that found the wet drop, but he didn’t let us as family know. If this thing didn’t happen, we wouldn’t have known anything,” the grieving brother said.

Ricardo Palma is reportedly the family member who removed his brother’s body from the hole in which it had been placed.

“Man, it wasn’t nice to dig up a decomposed body. It wasn’t nice. But first time in my whole life I’ve ever done that, and with the help of Mr. Espat, because he have more idea. He said, ’Don’t shove the spade so, because remember it is a body we’re dealing with so … don’t go and dig like you’re digging out a piece or iron or thing out of the ground like that, because whatever you dig, you can hurt the body and you can damage the body.’ So we just took our time and by 12 o’ clock we found the body,” he told 7News.

“I have a little training from out the Belize Defence Force and Mr. Espat, he have a lot of training and he have a lot of skills,” Palma further said.

Palma said that after the body was unearthed, the police and Coast Guard arrived. The remains were then taken to the National Forensic Science Service so that a postmortem exam could be carried out.

“Then when the police came in a Coast Guard boat, it’s a good thing we had a boat, because then they didn’t come prepared to go to land and receive a body. It’s a good thing we had a boat there, so we help them. We put it in a plastic, wrap it, then help back it and put it to a little small boat that we’re in and then escort it to their boat. That’s how they got the body,” Palma said.

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